Alisha writes, "Ever wonder what happens to the intel Santa Claus collects when deciding if you've been good or bad? Who has access to all your secrets? All that data? Santa has become too powerful, so a young elf decides to risk his life by leaking the Naughty List to the world. We made a holiday stop-motion film trailer parodying Citizenfour, but with an elf at the North Pole." Read the rest
JK Brickworks's Sisyphus automata was inspired by Disney Research's work on the "Computational Design of Mechanical Characters". Read the rest
I've never understood the need for an advent calendar, as if children needed help remembering Christmas. As my daughter celebrates the gift giving traditions of several cultures, however, I'm left looking for a happy middle ground.
We will both enjoy 24 days of Star Wars surprises.
This LEGO Star Wars calendar promises to include some minifigs, space craft and some holiday themed droids. I'd love to see C1-10P in an ugly sweater.
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Go retro-analog with these miniaturized versions of the classic Minimoog synthesizer! The Model D (left) and the Voyager Old School (right) are both represented in a small display set that would look great on the shelf of any synth geek, electronics buff, or general music lover.
In 1970, Bob Moog's company revolutionized the synthesizer industry once again by incorporating elements of his monumental Moog Modular in an all-in-one portable package, enabling electronic musicians to easily bring these spectacular sounds onstage. The iconic Model D and its subsequent revisions defined the sound of bass and lead sounds in pop and rock music for decades. In 2002, along with the resurgence of retro synthesis, Moog repackaged the Minimoog into a new model, the Voyager. The Voyager "Old School" is the model depicted here.
The control panels are not intended to be a one-to-one reproduction of the control panels of these instruments, which would be practically impossible at this scale. Instead, I chose to simply suggest the knobs and switches and panel prints with simple elements. The design of the side panels closely resembles that of the original models: metallic on the Model D and wood-grain on the Voyager Old School. Both synths sit on simple Lego recreations of an X-style keyboard stand.
Another detail of note is the accurate representation of the keyboard. Many piano and organ builds do not accurately reflect the pattern of black keys in alternating groupings of 2 and 3, but I found a way to achieve this with a combination of a could hinge elements oriented in different directions.
Lego has refused to sell bricks in bulk to Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, lest he use them for political expression.
Weiwei, among the country's most famous dissidents, wrote in an Instagram post that he considers the move an act of censorship.
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"We're here to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow" (twitter.com/LEGO_Group)
In June 2015 Ai Weiwei Studio began to design artworks which would have required a large quantity of Lego bricks to produce. The works were planned for the exhibition "Andy Warhol / Ai Weiwei" at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, to open in December 2015. The artworks' concept relates to freedom of speech.
The museum's curatorial team contacted Lego to place a bulk order and received Lego's reply via email on 12 September 2015: "We regret to inform you that it is against our corporate policy to indicate our approval of any unaffiliated activities outside the LEGO licensing program. However, we realize that artists may have an interest in using LEGO elements, or casts hereof, as an integrated part of their piece of art.
In this connection, the LEGO Group would like to draw your attention to the following:
The LEGO trademark cannot be used commercially in any way to promote, or name, the art work.
The title of the artwork cannot incorporate the LEGO trademark.
We cannot accept that the motive(s) are taken directly from our sales material/copyrighted photo material. The motive(s) cannot contain any political, religious, racist, obscene or defaming statements. It must be clear to the public that the LEGO Group has not sponsored or endorsed the art work/project.
This delightful Lovelace & Babbage Analytical Engine is gathering support on LEGO Ideas (formerly CUUSOO) where the community can up-vote fan-made play sets into consideration for production.
Featuring Lada Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, this set pays beautiful, Victorian tribute to their collaboration on the mechanical general-purpose computer of his design, including her pioneering work in creating the algorithm that would be used to program it.
What's more, the lovely, monochromatic Analytical Engine model can be used to house a Raspberry Pi Linux computer. Swoon.
Creator Stewart Lamb Cromar also proposes two bonus sets, an "Ada Junior Classroom" and a "Babbage Tea Party".
If you're interested in making this set a reality, please head to LEGO Ideas and support the project. Currently at around 3000 votes, they require 10,000 to be reviewed by LEGO for possible production.
While delightful on their own terms, the icing on the cake of the Portal games has always been the songs by Jonathan Coulton that play over their end credits. Read the rest
It is coolest van a bunch of meddling high school kids ever had! The minifigs are awesome too.
EverBlock's concept is simple: interlocking plastic bricks at a macro scale.
It's quick and easy to build nearly anything, by stacking and organizing the universal blocks in nearly any shape, pattern, or size. Anything you've constructed can be taken apart and re-assembled again, and the pieces can be re-used to build other objects, making EverBlock a unique green building method.
Wired's Liz Stinson: "with just three block versions, there are limitations to what you can build with the blocks. Don’t expect a life-size version of Lego’s architecture series just yet"
Combining useful physics lessons, building cool machines, and LEGO is always win in my household. This book has my daughter back to building!
LEGO Chain Reactions: Design and build amazing moving machines arrived as a gift the other day. This very clever book easily walks you through building Chain Reactions, simple LEGO machines that are designed to modularly fit together, they can function individually or as a unit. There are 10 models that you can build and link together.
In addition to each module being a interesting mechanical construct, the book explains the physics that allow the "chain reactions" to occur in a way my 8-year-old gets it. There is also a useful progression through the book in a "Now that you've built an onager, meet the trebuchet!" sort of way that I found helpful and entertaining.
At first I was worried that our vast tub of LEGO would not have the right pieces. If you have 2-3 sets worth of LEGO detritus, you should be fine and able to build everything here. The included pieces are all specialized, but if you follow the books instructions, and don't care about color matching, you'll get there.
IF you want to build some fun RubE Goldberg machines with your kid, LEGO Chain Reactions is a great book.
Danny Benedettelli built a Lego NXT humanoid robot that he controls with a sensor-laden exosuit, known as a "waldo." For example, when he moves his arms, so does the robot. Read the rest
If the endless galaxy of Minecraft just isn't big enough, we've now got another virtual world to make our own (with bricks, of course): Lego Worlds. Today Lego announced its "early access" release of its video game on Steam, currently available as a beta program for $14.99.
Just like Minecraft, the game features procedurally generated worlds where players can modify their surroundings to create whatever they like. Only this time, those worlds are made of Lego bricks. "Lego Worlds enables you to populate your worlds with many weird and wonderful characters, creatures, models, and driveable vehicles, and then play out your own unique adventures," the game's Steam page explains.
Unfortunately for Mac users, the game is only available on Windows... for now. Read the rest